SHF: Kamen Rider W Fang Joker
Bandai/Toei has finally gotten it right this time, a power-up form of a rider which isn’t a total eye-sore! Kamen Rider W’s highly popular Fang Joker ripped its way into everyone’s pre-order list with ease, and has been hyped as one of Bandai’s most highly anticipated releases in May.
Accessory-wise, the figure comes with very similar hand gestures found in Cyclone Joker’s release; along with exchangeable armour for Fang’s shoulder pad, bangle, and anklet. While these optional parts do enhance Fang Joker’s prowess, they actually add very little to the figure’s play value.
The colour white continues to be a recipe for poor QC. With the exception of the arm and the joints, the entire side of Fang has been painted in a white that ranges from gloss to semi-gloss. This may sound like a great idea on paper as it eliminates the raw plastic feel that comes with some figures, but in actuality, it contributed to all sorts of nicks and paint chips throughout the armour. Other issues that spawned from the white paint job included minor inconsistency in colouring (possibly due to the material used on the base), and some blotchy areas. And mine unfortunately copped a good case of it dead centre on the chest.
The unpainted right arm on the other hand, looks surprisingly good, as it doesn’t have that soft, semi-transparent feel that comes with cheap PVC plastic.
The eyes continue to excel, although they are not as ‘deep’ as Cyclone Joker’s in the sense that the texture under the eyes is positioned closer to the surface, which doesn’t quite reproduce the same lustre. The absence of a sprue mark on the antenna is a welcomed improvement to W’s base model, and the matte coating applied on Joker’s chest and shoulder armour, shows that Bandai does care…sometimes.
The matte effect on the black part of Fang’s shoulder pad also helps create a bit of contrast with the glossy armour.
The fang attachment on the extra shoulder armour is removable, and can thus be held as a weapon/projectile in its hands. The optional bangle and anklet are swapped out by popping the hands and feet out of their sockets.
The feel of the figure is so similar to Cyclone Joker, that it feels like you’re playing with the same figure. This may be contributed to the fact that the two forms move in a very similar fashion in the show, and share the same signature poses.
Fang Joker looks its best when it is standing flat on its feet, as the mobility in the waist is average at best.
You can’t go wrong with a character’s signature pose. The thigh-knee-lower leg connection is almost seamless when the figure is standing straight, which is testament to Bandai’s spectacular toy engineering.
A look at the figure’s attachments from behind.
Weapon in hand, ready to strike.
Group shots are always fun. It doesn’t just make you want to purchase the figure in question; but it makes you want the other one in the shot too!
If you own any of S.H. Figuarts’ Kamen Rider W figures, you’ll have a pretty good gauge of what this figure’s about. It’s a great piece to have on display due to its faithful representation of the show costume and well hidden joints. And if set alongside Cyclone Joker/Skull, it makes for an even more impressive display.